Video Reportedly Shows Police Horses Trampling Freedom Convoy Protesters in Canada

by Josh Lanier

Authorities in Canada stepped up their efforts to end the protests that have caused gridlock throughout that nation’s capital. Heavily armed riot police arrested more than 150 members of the Freedom Convoy since Friday and towed more than 40 trucks that had blocked roads. Authorities threatened more arrests if the protesters don’t leave, something they are unlikely to do.

Tensions between police and demonstrators have simmered for weeks. Hundreds of truckers, upset over the country’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates, blocked roads in Ottawa and keys bridges with the U.S. Things boiled over on Friday when authorities, escorting a fleet of tow trucks, descended into the crowd, The Daily Mail reported.

Photos and video reportedly filmed at one of the protests on Friday show a phalanx of mounted police officers pushing through a crowd of demonstrators. One of the horses knocks over two people and appears to step on one woman. A man in the crowd yells out, “They just trampled this lady. … They just fully trampled that lady.”

Ottawa police said they called in mounted officers to push back the crowds that refused to move. Officials seemed to address the video in a tweet Saturday but blamed the crowd for any incidents.

“We hear your concern for people on the ground after the horses dispersed a crowd,” they wrote. “Anyone who fell got up and walked away. We’re unaware of any injuries. A bicycle was thrown at the horse further down the line and caused the horse to trip. The horse was uninjured.”

Police: ‘We Told You to Leave. We Gave You Time To Leave’

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week took the rare step of enacting the country’s Emergencies Act. The move gives the government more latitude in dealing with protestors. For example, the police created a secure zone in downtown Ottawa, the heart of the protests. Officers can arrest anyone who doesn’t have permission to be there.

This is where most of the clashes between police and protests have taken place so far. Police threatened to arrest demonstrators that remained in the secure zone on Saturday. And they said they will use force to protect themselves. Authorities claimed that protestors attacked them earlier in the day.

“PROTESTORS: We told you to leave. We gave you time to leave. We were slow and methodical, yet you were assaultive and aggressive with officers and the horses,” Ottawa police said in a tweet. “Based on your behavior, we are responding by including helmets and batons for our safety.”

But members of the Freedom Convoy said it’s the police who are escalating tensions and being violent.

“This is a sledgehammer to kill a fly,” one man said. “I’m not afraid to get arrested. In fact, I’m expecting it. But they know why we are here and many of them are actually with us.”